Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Sports

UCF to be eligible for bowl, title game

The NCAA won't rule on UCF's postseason ban appeal until at least Jan. 24, making the Knights eligible for the postseason, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

The NCAA does not impose punishment during pending appeals.

As a result, the Knights are eligible to compete for a Conference USA title and appear in a bowl game. If the NCAA appeals committee upholds the postseason ban, UCF would have to sit out the 2013 postseason in its first year in the Big East.

"I think it's great news for our team, it's great news for our fan base," coach George O'Leary said.

The ban was the only penalty UCF challenged as part of sanctions levied in July for major violations in football and basketball.

UF: Nose for the ball

GAINESVILLE — South Carolina WR and return specialist Ace Sanders had no idea what Florida CB Loucheiz Purifoy was referring to when he walked past him during pregame warmups and said, "You better hold it tight. You're going to be a violator."

Sanders probably knows now. Florida forced four turnovers in that game, part of a concerted effort to seek out "violators" — a termed coined by defensive coordinator Dan Quinn — and make them pay.

"Violators is somebody who doesn't know how to carry the ball correctly and we're going to come get it from you," DL Dominique Easley said. "We see that ball, we see a little bit of that pigskin, we're coming to get it."

The Gators are No. 3 in the SEC in turnover margin (plus 11) and say they spend a great deal of time in practice working on stripping the ball.

Antonya English, Times staff writer

USF: Tale of 2 halves

TAMPA — Against six FBS opponents, USF has scored 101 points in second halves compared to 41 in the first. At Louisville, the Bulls' only first half points came on their opening drive, when an incomplete pass on the 19-yard line led to a Maikon Bonani field goal.

"I think probably it's a rhythm thing, kind of finding our niche so to speak," offensive coordinator Todd Fitch said. "I thought last week against Louisville … with (QB) B.J. (Daniels) not having practiced as much the last week and a half, I thought his rhythm was a little off. As he got more in a groove, we got some easier throws for him."

COMFORTABLE ON WEAK SIDE: Though he has started on both the strong side and in the middle this season, LB Sam Barrington said he's adjusting well to his latest role on the weak side.

"I like it," he said. "(Defensive coordinator Chris) Cosh told me it would be a good move for the team, so I'm all for it."

Barrington led the defense against Louisville with 10 tackles.

Joe Polito, Times correspondent

FSU: Fumbles cost job

TALLAHASSEE — Rashad Greene's days as FSU's primary punt returner appear to be done.

The sophomore averaged 15.8 yards on 19 returns, ninth best in the country, but he has fumbled three punts. "We've got to get that fixed," coach Jimbo Fisher said. "We can't let the ball hit. We've had too many there."

Backup punt returner Tyler Hunter said he had begun moving over into the starting role.

Orlando Sentinel

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